Report: Astros Looking for Revenge Against 'Haters' After Sign-Stealing Scandal

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2020

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, top, throws to first base after forcing out Oakland Athletics' Marcus Semien (10) at second base on a double play hit into by Chad Pinder during the ninth inning of Game 2 of a baseball American League Division Series in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The Houston Astros spent the entire 2020 MLB season as the sport's public enemy No. 1. One win away from an ALCS berth, it appears the Astros have used the hate for motivation.   

Andy Martin of SNY.tv reported the Astros have sought revenge against "haters," including teams like the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers. All four clubhouses have had outspoken critics of Houston in wake of the team's sign-stealing scandal.

Houston's Lance McCullers Jr. and Josh Reddick later took to Twitter to publicly deny the report:

Lance McCullers Jr. @lmccullers43

This is such fake news. We just here to play ball. We are focused and into the idea of winning... because it’s the playoffs. https://t.co/baIAx9oWdm

Josh Reddick @RealJoshReddick

Stirring the pot Andy? I haven’t heard ONE teammate say this. https://t.co/rOnbzKbWYb

While the Astros got into their share of public back-and-forths with opponents, it was not the bean-ball fest many expected. No Astros hitter was struck by a pitch more than five times, and MLB curtailed acts of retaliation with harsh punishments.

"All the Dodgers fans that probably still hold that grudge are going to be out here voicing their opinion," outfielder Josh Reddick told reporters. "It's all about silencing the haters, that's what all this year was about. The trash talk seems to be a little bit more running, and I love it."

After a disappointing regular season saw Houston barely sneak into the playoffs—with many calling it a comeuppance—the Astros have reeled off four straight wins in the postseason and look like the best team in the American League.

Houston's won each of its four games by at least two runs and has a 22-11 overall run differential. Their run differential in the playoffs is better than what it was the entire regular season.

If the Astros continue playing the way they have been, 2020 may turn into the year of the villain.